Monday, July 2, 2012

The Literacy of Japanese Women Part IX


Being rewritten

14 comments:

Rebb said...

Keiko, You've been hard at work. Diary's are fascinating, since it seems when they are written they are not intended to become pieces of literature or read by others. The diary seems a place we can write freely without worry or censor, which is partially why they become interesting to read.

Are you still writing poetry?

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

I used to write diary from age 11 to 19 because my home room teacher (teachers come to our classroom, and students do not go to room to room) told me to write every day when I asked him how I could become better writer.

But at age 19 when I was about to go to the U.S., I read my 8 year worth diary, but didn't like what I saw, so I quit writing diary. But underneath, I always miss writing almost every day. I also miss my ballet class, and sometimes, I still shuffle my legs imitating the basic movements. Likewise, I think from age 19, even though I wasn't writing diary, my habit of observing, thinking, and reflecting continued like writing diary.

About haiku and tanka, yes, I wrote more, but not this week.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Your home teacher was wise. I never did write in a diary or write much at all when I was really young. I know I started pouring my feelings out on the page. It may have started when I was 18 or 19. I can’t remember exactly.

Very interesting that you did not like what you saw in your diaries. Our diaries are so revealing—the happy days and not so happy days. I took ballet for a short time as a little girl. I have a children’s story in my head about one time. I don’t know that I have much to work with. We will see. Yes, shuffling your legs…I sometimes imitate the basic movements of ice-skating. I haven’t been back. It’s too expensive for private lessons and public days are too full to practice well.

I think that’s great that the practice of writing every day and capturing your observations has stayed with you like writing in your diary.

“I still shuffle my legs imitating the basic movements.” Somehow my mind sees this as the beginning of a reflective essay on your ballet class…or a poem…

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

When I read my old diaries, I wanted to tell myself, "grow up!" I didn't like myself bothered with small things.

You're right that my teacher's advice was good, but when I threw all my diaries, I didn't think it was the best advice. I thought he could not really teach how to write well, so he gave me a kind of lip service. In a way, that was also true, but I've never met a Japanese teacher who could teach creative writing.

About my old diaries, I wish I kept them, so I could read and say to my old self, "It's okay. Don't worry about it."

ashok said...

Hello Keiko and Rebb. have not heard from you both for such a long time that I thought you both had stopped blogging.

Keiko, is this part time IX and other parts going to be a part of a book? Even you must appear in one of the later parts as an author.

Rebb said...

Keiko, it's interesting about the Japanese teachers you had and how creative writing wasn't something they could teach.

Your last thoughts are kind. We need to be kind to our young self and to our self now.

Hello Ashok.

keiko amano said...

Hello Ashok,

I wrote most of "the Literacy of Japanese Women" in Japan, and now I'm in the U.S. I don't know about a book, but I probably keep writing. To me, the title does not matter because my interest is pretty much consistent underneath. I know you don't share similar language interest like mine. That's sad for me because I'm interested in Sanskrit and Hindi and all the conflicts, depth, or good things come with being multi-lingual.

About the title, I think I can say just Literacy, or Language, or Culture, or My Ancestors, History, or whatever I write would make sense, I think.

About Rebb and I blogging actively, no, I wasn't. Rebb seems very active. I cannot keep up with her. Lately, I try to finish my old project and read the books I bought, but it's been taking a long time to finish. I read less blogs, but I check my FB.

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

Actually, creative writing is something pretty new even in the U.S. University of Iowa, I believe, was the first one offered such course and Flannery O'Connor and John Irving were two of the first graduates. So, I can't blame those Japanese teachers, and also I can not blame English Language teachers in Japan for their inability to speak English.

So, whenever I meet people who are interested in learning creative writing or English, I say to them that I'll teach them. More than a few occasions, I gave my advice and taught a few lessons, but they don't last. Even to my friends, I tell them to write something, and I'll critique, but they never show me any paper. It takes quite a lot of energy to teach, so if the students are not willing to learn, I don't continue my free class.

Rebb said...

Keiko, I’m glad you mentioned this. I didn’t realize that creative writing is relatively new. I’ve taken it for granted as though it has always been taught. Now I can better understand about Japanese teachers and creative writing.

I can imagine it would take a lot of energy to teach creative writing and a lot of time and a commitment to the process.

Rebb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keiko amano said...

Rebb,

I know we are very lucky to live in the current era and in the U.S. When I'm in Japan, I also try to take writing related classes to see other world. I do get some benefit because it's in Japan, and I'm writing also in Japanese, but open nature of local groups, and relatively easy access to them are true gems. I feel so lucky! And blogging and talking with you and other people here and Facebook are priceless. I learn a lot.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Yes, we are very lucky to live in the current era in U.S. thank you for reminding me. And you are lucky, yes! I'm very thankful for talking with you and others too. Learning is everywhere in these places like here and the others. It's great.
: )

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

I think years of taking classes, writer workshops, and blogging have helped me a great deal. There are many things we can find out by ourselves eventually, but by interacting with others, I find unpredictable fun along the way.

ashok said...

Keiko, There was a time I was interested in picking up languages but just for conversation not in a scholarly way and learnt a bit of German and Spanish. Most of that is forgotten now. Presently it is just English and Hindi along with some local dialects of Hindi.

I do hope you can combine all your present posts into a book, along with a few pictures perhaps. It appears to be very useful information for the interested reader.